TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma lawmaker is remembering one of the largest tragedies in Oklahoma history.
It has been 102 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre.
“Today, we commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a defining moment in our city’s and nation’s history. We honor the memory of the victims, recognize the resilience of the survivors, and stand in solidarity with their descendants.
After the turn of the 20th Century, Greenwood became the largest concentration of Black wealth America had ever seen, and then on this day in 1921, acts of racial violence perpetuated by a white mob burned the community’s buildings, homes, churches, and businesses to the ground.
The violence claimed the lives of more than 300 Black Tulsans. As we reflect on this event, we are reminded of the lives that were lost, the dreams that were shattered, and the community that was forever altered.
However, our reflection also reminds us of the spirit of Greenwood – a spirit that shows despite the destruction and violence hate may bring, love of community and resilience will overcome and rebuild.
More than a century has passed since the Tulsa Race Massacre, and today, through the many thriving businesses in the historic area and the Greenwood Cultural Center, future generations of young people will have the opportunity to learn about and be inspired by the story of this community. When they do, they will find that this story began well before May 31, 1921, and that 102 years later, it continues today.
Education about the Tulsa Race Massacre, and other similar events, is vital in cultivating a future that cherishes diversity, champions equality, and fosters mutual respect among all citizens. The Tulsa Race Massacre is not just a story of a horrific event but a call to action to learn from our past and ensure that such an act of violence never happens again.
The dreams of J.B. Stradford, O.W. Gurley of what would become the Greenwood District are still alive today, and all who work to eradicate hate, fight for justice, and work every day to root out discrimination are the keepers of that dream.”Rep. Monroe Nichols, chair of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus
The Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma was once called the “Black Wall Street,” a 35-block radius in the segregated community that was thriving with hundreds of businesses.
But, on May 31 through June 1, 1921, the entire area was burned down as a white mob attacked the community after a Black man was accused of assaulting a white woman.
White residents burned down homes and businesses, killing hundreds of Black residents and injuring 800 others.
Despite it being one of the worst instances of racial violence in the United States, the massacre was mostly swept under the rug.
Although the Tulsa Race Massacre occurred 100 years ago, the community never fully recovered.
Businesses were never able to rebuild, and innocent families were not compensated for the losses caused by the mob.
Although there are estimates regarding the casualties that occurred during the attack, officials have been working for more than a year to find all of the victims.